Nightlife in Hanoi - 18 Things to Do in Hanoi at Night

Hanoi has a reputation. 'Stuffy', 'Conservative' and 'Narrow-minded' are often the words used to describe the capital city of Vietnam. This notion coupled with the fact that technically all clubs, bars and pubs are supposed to shut down at midnight gives off the impression that the Hanoi nightlife is stale. Wrong! Hanoi has one of the most glitzy and glamorous nightlife rivalled only by that of the nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City. Are you someone who likes to dance the night away? Or do you prefer relaxing at a pub with a beer in hand? Are you on a budget? Or are you an expat who has no qualms about expenses? No matter what kind of a party-er you are Hanoi's got you covered!

Hanoi Nightlife, Things to Do in Hanoi at Night

For those who like to party, Hanoi has three major area - The Bia Hoi Junction located in the Old Quarter, The West Lake Area and the Historical Center. For those who wish to avoid the raucous partygoers, the Opera House, Hanoi Central Circus or Water Puppet Theatre are great alternatives.

Bia Hoi Junction

Bia Hoi Junction represents the quintessential Hanoi nightlife. Housing more than 200 small bars that serve Bia hoi, this area is mostly frequented by students, locals, backpackers and tourists. This area is open throughout the day and gets crowded after dusk. The area is widely popular due to the cheap Bia Hoi that it serves (4000 VND - 8000 VND per glass) and is mostly made up of small local shacks with plastic stools out front, with the most bizarre assortment of people sitting out enjoying the local beer. A popular item sold in this area is 'balloons'. Filled with some kind of laughing gas, they provide a temporary sensation of euphoria. This area is a must visit for both couple and singles and people offer to consider a visit to Hanoi incomplete without a visit here. Remember to dress down - fancy clothes will just make you stand out like a sore thumb. Bia Hoi junction may majorly consist of people sitting out in the open sipping beer, but it does have its fair share of clubs and bars for those who prefer to go the conventional route.

Nightlife in Hanoi Old Quarter, Bia Hoi Junction, Vietnam Nightlife

1. Dragonfly

Dragonfly is a nondescript looking club but when you step inside you realize exactly how happening it is, a perfect metaphor for the nightlife in Hanoi. This club has an indoor area with beautiful lighting and a thriving dance floor. It also has shisha, balloon and cocktail facilities in addition to a smoking area.

Timings: 8:30 PM - 2:00 AM
USP: Outdoor and Indoor serving area for food, balloons, shisha and alcohol; Live DJ and exotic dancers

Nightlife in Hanoi, Dragonfly, Vietnam Nightlife

2. Craft Beer Pub

If you're a connoisseur of beer, this is your place to be. They serve a large variety of both locally made beer and beer imported from Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany.

Timings: 5:30 PM - 1:30 AM
USP: Serves locally made craft beer; large screen displaying sports

Nightlife in Hanoi, Craft Beer Pub, Vietnam Nightlife

3. 1900 Le Theatre

Standing on the remains of a burned down theatre, this Hanoi nightclub adds an element of oomph to the erstwhile laid-back scene. Complete with a DJ and a dance floor, this is undoubtedly the swankiest club in Bia Hoi junction. If you want to get a local experience and some mainstream music, this is the place. Usually very crowded, you might feel a little awkward if you go here alone.

Timings: 9:00 PM - 2:00 AM
USP: Modern ambience; Live unique medley of Vietnamese music and EDM; Lots of single people to mingle

Nightlife in Hanoi, 1900 Le Theatre, Vietnam Nightlife

4. Hair of the Dog

For a more laid-back ambience in Hanoi, head over to the Hair of the Dog, which facilitates travellers and other people to meet and make conversation over a few drinks. The service is said to be top notch.

 9:00 PM - 3:30 AM
USP: 1st floor for locals and 2nd for foreigners; open until late at night

Nightlife in Hanoi, Hair of the Dog

West Lake Area

The West Lake Area has a number of upscale bars and clubs and is frequented by expats and Vietnamese socialites, celebrities and the lite. This area reeks of money and glamour and houses some of the most expensive clubs and bars. This area is ideal for a swanky, sophisticated date or a night out. The affluent crowd that frequents this area is always dressed to perfection and going casual with definitely make you stick out. In fact, most clubs in the area do not offer entry without appropriate clothing. At first glance, this area may seem too expensive, but it houses some of the most stylish and unique bars and clubs and is definitely worth a visit if you have the necessary time and resources.

Nightlife in Hanoi, West Lake Area

5. Standing Bar

Standing bar is an unconventional bar in Hanoi built on a unique concept - you drink standing. The bar has numerous taps which when open fill your glasses generously with beer.

Timings: 6:00 PM - 12:30 AM
USP: They serve 16 types of craft beer - local and imported; offers a lake view; stand-up comedy Saturday nights

Nightlife in Hanoi, Standing Bar

6. 88 Lounge

88 Lounge embodies sophistication. This classy wine bar is ideal for a date. You can choose to occupy either the top garden or one of the sofa lounges on intermediate floors.

Timings: 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
USP: Sophisticated wine lounge; ideal for a date due to its romantic ambience; offers wine-tasting events

Nightlife in Hanoi, 88 Lounge, Vietnam Nightlife

7. Savage

Timings: 8:00 PM - 4:00 AM
USP: Electronic and Techno Music; Elite Crowd; Closes very late

Savage, Nightlife in Hanoi

8. Hanoi Rock City

Timings: 8:00 PM - 1:00 AM
USP: Alternative Event and art space featuring live music, DJ performances, open-mike nights and karaoke; free entry

Nightlife in Hanoi, Hanoi Rock City, Vietnam Nightlife

9. Legend Beer

Legend Beer sells more variety of beers than any other Vietnamese bar. Coupled with the enticing ambience, Legend beer is a great place to enjoy a great evening.

Timings: 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM
USP: Third Storey Bar with Lake View; self-craft their own beer; German Food

Nightlife in Hanoi, Legend Beer

Historical City Centre

10. Factory 47

Factory 47 is a factory style pub, complete with ambience and waiters in lab coats. The industrial style lighting adds to the thrill of the place and gives off an edgy feel.

Timings: 12:00 PM - 12:00 AM
USP: Industrial style pub; electronic music

Nightlife in Hanoi, Factory 47, Vietnam Nightlife

11. Hanoi Press Club

Hanoi Press club incontestably has the best assortment of French dishes in Vietnam. Hanoi press club also offers a special gentleman's style bar which has exotic dancers performing. Apart from that, it also has an open terrace, ideal for enjoying a quiet evening.

Timings: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM - 3:30 PM

USP: Two clubs; Gentlemen style and open-air terrace; live music from Thursday to Saturday; Buy one get one free cocktail on Thursday

Nightlife in Hanoi, Hanoi Press Club, Vietnam Nightife

12. The Bank

The Bank is one of the best nightclubs in Hanoi. It combines the best parts of a Viet-styled nightclub and a Western Nightclub. Wednesday night is considered to be 'ladies night' and Entry is free for women, but men have to pay. EDM is the most popular music played here and the dance floor is always occupied by throngs of people raving to the beat.

Timings: 8:30 PM - 3:00 AM
USP: The Largest nightclub in Hanoi; Serves the best cocktails; funky music and elite crowd

Hanoi Nightlife, The Bank Hanoi, Nightclubs in Hanoi

13. Cosa Nostra

The area and ambience of this Hanoi bar are beautiful but Cosa Nostra is often known for its poor service. This restaurant-cum-bar is themed to a minimalist one. The leather furniture offers a sophisticated, yet relaxing touch to your evening.

Timings: 12:00 PM - 12:00 AM
USP: Minimalist Bar with classy leather furniture; relaxed setting

Nightlife in Hanoi, Cosa Nostra

14. Tadioto

Tadioto is known for the exotic colourful cocktails it serves. The artsy and colourful ambience adds to the charm of the place which is ideal for a date or a girl's night out.

Timings: 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM
USP: Artsy bar; rustic feel; a relaxed place to unwind

Nightlife in Hanoi, Tadioto, Bars in Hanoi

Unconventional Things to Do at Night in Hanoi

So we've seen the vibrant party scene that the city has to offer, but what to do in Hanoi if alcohol, flashing lights and thumping music isn't your thing? Worry not, because Hanoi is full of things to do for those who prefer a quieter scene, maybe soaking up some culture or strolling through the streets to get a hint of the true essence of life in Vietnam's capital.

15. Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre

If you're one for classic tastes, an evening enjoying the traditional Vietnamese art of Water Puppetry is the right choice for you! This classical art form dates back to times when paddy fields were strongly flooded and farmers and villagers made entertainment by standing in the water which is waist-deep and used the puppets to perform over the water. The performances often consist of Vietnamese folklore and legends and are often accompanied by the orchestra that plays traditional music using wooden bells, drums, horns, and bamboo flutes as well as cymbals. Hanoi's Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is famous throughout the world. Missing a night of Partying and attending a show is definitely worth it.

Timings: 2:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Nightlife in Hanoi, Hanoi Water Puppet Theatre

16. Hanoi Opera House

The Hanoi Opera House located near Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the best examples of Hanoi's colonial architecture. The Hanoi opera house hosts opera and live music performances and if you are one to spend a sophisticated evening, this is the place for you. This building is established in 1911 by the French. It features with Gothic themes, featuring through pillars, shuttered windows, glass rooms and balconies. This is the biggest theatre countrywide and speaks volumes as cultural and historical evidence of Vietnam under the French rule. The performances are various, including traditional folk music, international concerts, Vietnamese opera, and ballets.

Nightlife in Hanoi, Hanoi Opera House, Vietnamese Culture

17. Vietnam Central Circus

The Vietnam Central Circus is perfect for tourists looking for things to do in Hanoi with the whole family, offering some family-friendly late night entertainment. The two-hour long show consists of individual performances by acrobats, animals and clowns. The circus itself is located in a great top tent and is surrounded by fairground games and live performances. The circus shows often are repetitive but it's definitely worth at least one watch. The shows offer a good laugh and the skilled performers are bound to leave you with wide open mouths.

Timings: Tuesday - Sunday: 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Hanoi Nightlife, Vietnam Central Circus

18. Hanoi Night Market

A grand mixture of colours, sound and smell, Hanoi Night Market is a must visit for any tourist visiting the city, be it to buy souvenirs, browse through Vietnamese clothing or gorge on some delicious Vietnamese street food. One can find regular items like t-shirts, accessories, sunglasses or products reminiscent of Vietnamese culture such as conical hats and Ao Dai, all packed into this labyrinth of stalls that come up here on the weekends. Cultural and musical events are a regular spectacle, which can be enjoyed as you eat a mouth-watering plate of Pho or Banh Mi.

Timings: Friday - Sunday: 6:00 PM - 12:00 AM

Nightlife in Hanoi, Hanoi Night Market

In addition to being an excellent place for sightseeing displaying the rich culture and history of Vietnam, you will find that Hanoi has an exotic and enjoyable nightlife where you can unwind after a long day of sightseeing. The Hanoi nightlife scene is ever expanding. The city is yours to explore,  Party the night away!

This post was published by Sitara Kumbale

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